The Election of Andy Burnham as Mayor of Greater Manchester

It was a forgone conclusion that Andy Burnham would be elected. First, he was the only candidate with ministerial experience at Government level. Secondly, and more importantly, the constituent elements of the electorate around Manchester are Labour supporting.

He is/was the Labour MP for Leigh in Lancashire. I was born and lived in Leigh for much of my life. Industry in Leigh was coal and cotton. If you disregard the ‘satanic mills’, it was a nice town to live in – not too big and not too small. It has a rugby league team which won the cup in 1972 (?). I went to Wembley to watch the cup final. It was a great occasion. Much celebration took place in the town that night, and for several nights thereafter. The population was small enough (around 40,000 at a guess) for there to be multiple connections between the citizens.

Leigh has been a Labour stronghold since the beginning. That is not surprising since the population was very much ‘working class’. There was very little wealth in Leigh. The Town Hall was controlled by Labour. But the councillors were sensible. They did what they could to improve the town and the lives of citizens. That is, they were POSITIVE.

I do not know when councils became NEGATIVE. I do not know when the tipping point occurred. I now live in Bolton, which is not much different from Leigh, except that it is bigger. Leigh had its ‘posh’ area, to the South of the town, whereas Bolton’s ‘posh’ area is to the North of the town (generally speaking). But it is certain that a tipping point occurred. Bolton Council is now riddled with Zealots.

How can we get shut of them? There is only one way – people with the charisma of Nigel Farrage have to stand and shout. The Zealots must be removed. They stand as Labour candidates, but they are not. They are Zealots of Tobacco Control. They get their proposals accepted by invoking the ‘baby killer’ mantra.

Andy Burnham is the lowest of the low. He is as thick as two short planks. He has said so himself. In his acceptance speech, he said that his main concern would be with the homeless. Worthy though that cause might be, it is a tiny fraction of the concerns of citizens of Greater Manchester.

And, to make things worse, he is an ardent supporter of the persecution and torture of smokers. I do not know why, but it is true.

I see Burnham originating massively expensive initiatives which no one can object to on the grounds of costs because those causes are ‘worthy’. Is that not the defence of the EU? The EU is ‘worthy’ because it unites all the people of Europe. It does no such thing. It subjects the people of Europe to ‘one size fits all’ – total standardisation.

Standardisation of electric plugs, etc, makes sense. That is in the area of trade standards. Such standards facilitate trade by removing uncertainties. They are factual and worthy.

But what is most revealing about Burnham is that he said that his main concern would be about the homeless. I applaud his concern. But, just a minute, why should the plight of the homeless be more important than the plight of desperate home-owners who are out of work and cannot pay their mortgages?

Burnham would claim that ‘the homeless’ are desperate, and his cause is just. I do not deny that, but it is marginal. There are very few homeless individuals, other than people who deliberately wish to be so.

Concern for the homeless is a worthy attribute, but it does not impinge upon the vast majority of citizens.

I think that Burnham has no idea what his job will be. He is a POLITICIAN. He will endeavour to make himself look good.

Has any politician ever admitted to have made a mistake?

 

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